Could limes be grown in the Solomon Islands and become an export commodity?
I raise the question about the possibility of limes being grown in the Solomon Islands following a report from Radio New Zealand today which said Vanuatu’s lime exports to New Zealand have been temporarily stopped over biosecurity issues.
Quoting the report it said.
“The first shipment in an export trial of Vanuatu's Tahitian limes arrived in New Zealand in February.
“Biosecurity New Zealand said Vanuatu officials had agreed to stop issuing export certificates for the limes until the issues were resolved.
“Without identifying the issues, the agency said it was "working closely with local officials to identify and address any gaps in Vanuatu's certification system".
“Vanuatu Plant Biosecurity Officer Touasi Tiwok told the Daily Post the temporary stop was an opportunity to discuss "risks" to New Zealand.
"What New Zealand has asked us to do is review our pathway system, starting from the production level to the market," she said.
"We have asked farmers to wait for the time being until we reach an agreement for exports to resume."
“The high season for lime growers in Vanuatu, between August and February, corresponds with the off-season in New Zealand.”
Having worked in both Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands and know of the climate conditions in both countries, It occurred to me that limes could be grown in the Solomon Islands and maybe become an export commodity to perhaps Australia, Singapore and China, without posing a threat to Vanuatu’s export links.